New FIND-led consortium awarded nearly €6 million by EDCTP to improve tuberculosis diagnosis and management at the point of care
- TB-CAPT (Close the gap, increase Access, Provide adequate Therapy) will provide evidence for impactful implementation of tuberculosis (TB) and TB/HIV co-infection diagnostic strategies including drug-susceptibility testing through a series of trials in Tanzania, Mozambique, and South Africa
- TB-CAPT has been granted nearly €6 million, as part of the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership 2 (EDCTP2) programme supported by the European Union
- The FIND-led consortium of 12 organizations met for the first time during the 50th Union World Conference on Lung Health
Geneva, Switzerland – 22 January 2020 – The Foundation for Innovative New Diagnostics (FIND) announced today the award of nearly €6 million from the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership (EDCTP) for a new project dubbed TB-CAPT (Close the gap, increase Access, Provide adequate Therapy). TB-CAPT will generate evidence to inform the impactful implementation of tuberculosis (TB) and TB/HIV co-infection diagnostic strategies including drug-susceptibility testing (DST) at the point of care (POC), through a series of trials that will take place in intended settings of use in Tanzania, Mozambique and South Africa.
TB-CAPT is being implemented by a FIND-led consortium that includes (in alphabetical order): African Society for Laboratory Medicine (ASLM), Ethiopia; Fundacao Manhica, Mozambique; Fundación Privada Instituto de Salud Global Barcelona, Spain; Ifakara Health Institute Trust, Tanzania; Instituto Nacional de Saúde, Mozambique; Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet Muenchen, Germany; National Institute for Medical Research – Tanzania, Tanzania; Ospedale San Raffaele, Italy; Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Switzerland; University of Cape Town, South Africa; and Wits Health Consortium, South Africa. The consortium which will help strengthen north-south research collaborations in TB, convened formally for the first time on 1 November 2019, during the 50th Union World Conference on Lung Health in Hyderabad, India.
TB is the world’s deadliest infectious disease. In 2018 alone, 10 million people fell ill and 1.5 million died from it (including 251,000 people co-infected with HIV). Around 3 million of these people were “missing” from national health systems, either because they did not access healthcare or were not diagnosed. Drug-resistant TB continues to be a public health crisis – in 2018, it was estimated that half a million people developed TB that was resistant to rifampicin, the most effective first-line drug, and 78% of those people had multidrug-resistant TB. Yet, just under 187,000 DR-TB cases were actually detected and reported. Africa accounts for around a quarter of the global disease burden, with Tanzania, Mozambique, and South Africa all being designated by the World Health Organization (WHO) as high-burden TB countries.
Improved diagnostics for detection of TB and for rapid, expanded DST at lower levels of the healthcare system are urgently needed to find the “missing millions” and enable treatment for all patients where they first seek care. The TB-CAPT trials have been designed to take into account local epidemiology, as well as existing infrastructure. The TB-CAPT trial will evaluate the impact of innovative diagnostic technologies versus current standards of care on participating individuals, including the effects of expanding TB testing strategies for people living with HIV who also have TB. Data gathered will inform WHO policy on POC testing strategies for TB, and support planning for potential implementation and scale-up by participating ministries of health. Further, TB-CAPT aims to build capacity for the implementation of diagnostic trials that will serve in the evaluation of future diagnostic tests.
“Efforts to address the TB epidemic often stumble due to a lack of high-quality diagnostic tests that can be used at community levels or in remote areas,” said Catharina Boehme, CEO of FIND. “The TB-CAPT consortium includes world-leading institutions that are perfectly placed to evaluate new technologies with the potential to close these gaps so that every person with TB can know their status and access the care they need.”
TB-CAPT will run for 3.5 years, with planned completion in 2023.
This project is part of the EDCTP2 programme supported by the European Union.
 World Health Organization. Global tuberculosis report 2019. https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/329368/9789241565714-eng.pdf?ua=1 (accessed 4 November 2019)
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FIND is a global non-profit organization that drives innovation in the development and delivery of diagnostics to combat major diseases affecting the world’s poorest populations. Our work bridges R&D to access, overcoming scientific barriers to technology development; generating evidence for regulators and policy-makers; addressing market failures; and enabling accelerated uptake and access to diagnostics in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Since 2003, we have been instrumental in the development of 24 new diagnostic tools. Over 50 million FIND-supported products have been provided to 150 LMICs since the start of 2015. A WHO Collaborating Centre, we work with more than 200 academic, industry, governmental, and civil society partners worldwide, on over 70 active projects that cross six priority disease areas. FIND is committed to a future in which diagnostics underpin treatment decisions and provide the foundation for disease surveillance, control, and prevention.
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